Monday, November 19, 2012

Basic Rider Course 2 2012

A quick post today.  Sunday before last I attended a MSF Basic Rider Course 2 class.  It's been two years since I took the first class, to get my motorcycle license, and I wanted a refresher.  This class was a 5 hour track day that went over tight cornering, quick stops, swerving, riding over obstacles, etc, using our own bikes.  I was considering signing up for the Advanced Techniques class but decided to refresh things first before biting off more then I could chew.  I think I'll attend one of the advanced courses this spring.

It just so happened that Southern Arizona had a cold front move through on the exact day of the class.  So it was a little chilly and wet when I arrived.  They usually don't cancel these classes unless there's bad lightning in the area.  I heard one of the instructors state, "People pay good money to take wet track training.  You guys are getting the discount rate."  I arrived third, and parked behind another Bonneville owner.
It didn't take too long for the others to arrive.  We had eight students total, including me.  Since we used our own bikes the instructors go over them with a fine tooth comb to make sure they're in good enough condition for the class.  One gentleman had to switch out his bike for a class loaner since the instructors didn't feel safe letting him use his for the training.  That Mobile-mini to the left is filled with quite a few 250cc bikes used in the Basic Rider Course 1 class.  Two of the students were scooter owners.  I believe in Arizona, if your scooter is over 100cc's then you have to have a fully endorsed motorcycle license.
 A quick shot of the riders before we start to get down to business.  One of the instructors, Mike, is on the left in yellow.
As we only had a few minutes between each exercise I didn't get a lot of photos.  The rest of the pictures were taken after the training portion of the class was over.  There were two of us that already had our licenses endorsed and didn't have to take the MSF test to waive the State skills test.  The other 6 students had to pass all of the skills so they could get their waivers.  I snapped a few pic's during testing.  Not sure if this was legal or not, so I took the pictures quickly.  Troubadour will have to let me know if this was a no no.
The first test involved making a tight figure eight in a small rectangle area and then coming out and performing a smooth S curve.  I believe this gentleman forgot to execute the curve.  The instructor is informing him he has one more chance.
The dreaded box, which you can't see from this angle.
Overall it was a great morning.  We only had three incidents during the training sessions.  Both scooter riders went down during quick braking.  I think they grabbed too much front brake.  Nothing serious through, they both were at very slow speeds so no issues at all.  The third incident happened during the final testing.  As you see below all riders wait in line while each student goes through each exercise.  The grey scooter rider lost control of the throttle somehow and plowed into the student on the loaner bike pretty hard.  She dinged up her scooter pretty bad and hit her lip on her wind screen.  She ended up having to leave the testing and will have to come back to get her licensed endorsed.  I talked to her for a little bit.  She was a little shaken up but was still in good spirits.  She told me she was upset at herself but was definitely going to come back out and finish the test.
As I said, short post this week.  Until next time.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cars and Comics

Last Saturday Kiri and I had one of our good friends visit us from Phoenix.  His name is Jose and he's a huge comic book junkie.  It just so happened that Tucson was having a comic-con down at the convention center and Jose invited us along.  Kiri wasn't going to go at first, but at the last second she changed her mind, and her shirt,  and off we went.
 This was our first visit to a comic convention and we didn't quite know what to expect.
Right off the bat Kiri finds out there is a Dr. Who booth and off she went.  She's a huge fan.  These gentlemen were all posing as various Doctors from the show.  We ended buying some raffle tickets to support their local charity.
Quite a lot of gifts and knick-knacks were purchased for the up coming holidays.  So if you're family, and reading this, when you get that weird looking greeting card you know where it came from.
This kid was spotted sneaking in some formula and the local security forces had to take him into custody.
Kiri asked this gentleman if he had a light, and things got out of control.
As one would expect at a comic-con, there were comic books galore.  These are the old ones of course.  Today's modern comic's border on pieces of art that you could hang on the wall.  Some of the newer stuff is pretty racy as well!
I met one fellow who seemed to have spent too much time at the show.  I told him to go get some water and freshen up.  These poor kids don't know how to pace themselves.
I asked if I could take their picture and they handed me a bottle cap that advertised Blastzone Soda.  Warning, their website seemed to be very very slow.
Tight security everywhere we turned.
Kiri had to leave some important message with this R2 unit before we left.  We had a great time and will definitely be going back next year.  Thanks for taking us Jose!
BUT WAIT! That's not all.  After the comic-con I sweet talked Kiri and Jose into going over to a local car show put on by the Cops and Rodders group.  The show raises funds for the local Tucson Police Foundation.  So we drove over to Reid Park to check it out.
I don't pretend to be a serious car guy so don't expect me to name off all the models.  I just started taking pictures of anything that looked cool.  I really like the look of these old rat rods though.
Always keep your hood ornament warm.
It's almost as if you can hear Kiri saying..."Take a picture of the eye lashes!!!"
Beautiful car.  It's a 1954 Kaiser Darrin.  And the only reason I know that is that I took a picture of the information plaque.
 I was hoping there would be more vintage bikes there, but pickings were slim.  I'm betting that helmet doesn't have DOT or Snell approval.
Someone was working on their next tank.
Corvette should go back to making cars like this.
More Rat Rod!
I really liked the look of this old cargo truck.  It even had a sleeping compartment behind the cab.
Get your purple bling on!
 Found this bus interesting since we had just gotten back from a Bisbee trip.  I found a cool PDF that talks about the history of these buses.
 Sweet looking Mack fire truck.
So many cool cars and trucks.  I ended up taking too many photos!  This post just has a small subset of pictures and I'm already running long.
 Kiri's favorite car of the day.  Can you tell why?
My favorite car of the day.  I like the windshield.
As we walked back to the car I thought this would be a nice artsy finishing picture.  It was a great day spent with great company.  Sorry this ran a little long but I didn't want to break it into two posts. Until next time!